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Predator (Kay Scarpetta #14)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  22,416 Ratings  ·  821 Reviews
Dr. Kay Scarpetta, now freelancing with the National Forensic Academy in Florida, takes charge of a case that stretches from steamy Florida to snowbound Boston; one that at first appears as unnerving as any she has ever faced. The teasing psychological clues lead Scarpetta and her team—Pete Marino, Benton Wesley, and Lucy Farinelli—to suspect that they are hunting someone ...more
ebook, 225 pages
Published October 31st 2005 by Little, Brown (first published October 2005)
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Aug 27, 2007 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've read every single one of Cornwell's K. Scarpetta series, and they've gotten progressively worse. I used to love these books, they were so GOOD, but now it's like she's just writing anything to get another book out there. Sad, b/c these really were some of my favorites back when she first started writing them. I don't even know if I can bear to read another one, the characters have gotten so bitter and unpleasant.
May 03, 2008 Terri rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Okay - this was the worst Scarpetta book. I wanted to like it but it seems all the characters have become annoying caricatures. And in addition to that, the story was incredibly confusing. We have an evil criminal called HOG - The Hand of God, suicides that were actually murders, a scientific study Benton is running on the brains of serial killers, problems at the forensic center in FL.... Which is tied up in the end, but not in a satisfying way.

And my biggest gripe = Scarpetta is attacked (not
Sharon Dodge
*******SPOILERS AHEAD******

I was horrendously disappointed with this book, though not for obvious reasons. I found the author a very competent one - and if that sounds like an underhanded insult, I don't mean it that way. She's a fine author, and the majority of her characters have subtleties and nuance, especially the older ones, who I became attached to almost instantly.

The problem was the specific story was horrendous. It was a mash-up of every bad crime novel I've ever read, and even the int
Feb 17, 2010 Jane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I used to love the Kay Scarpetta series! In an attempt to revisit an old friend I picked up Predator. I was sad to see my "old friends" had been replaced by a poor resemblance of themselves. I hardly recognized the characters as the story was told in a confusing third party narrative making the people dark, depressing and very impersonal. The constant shift in storyline was difficult to follow. I'm only half-way through the book and I can honestly say I'm not sure what the story line is! For the ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Bev rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
I've been a Cornwell fan since I read her first book. I've had some complaints about her recent books ("Blow Fly" was probably the worst). This is getting back to her roots, but still the magic of her earlier books isn't there. I hate what she has done with the character of Marino. In earlier works, I kind of pictured Marino as an Ed Asner type, but now he's buff and bald and riding motorcycles and I've lost my picture of him. I also loved the working relationship they had, and now it seems non- ...more
Roderick Hart
Sep 05, 2010 Roderick Hart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although well into the series of books featuring Dr Kay Scarpetta, this one is genuinely stand-alone, so if the reader has read none of the previous titles there will not be a problem. (This is not the case with all of them. For example, the Last Precinct takes up where a previous title finished and having read the previous book helps a lot).

Continuing the comparison with The Last Precinct, Predator moves much more rapidly and contains several narrative strands woven together with uncommon skill
It's difficult for me to even grasp what a mess this book was. Some things were so incredibly obvious to the reader (or at least, to this reader) that they could be discerned 200 pages before the characters realized them, and yet other things that readers were curious about for the entire book were never even revealed at all. Plot threads were dropped at random and not picked up again for 100 or 200 pages, and other threads were just dropped altogether for no apparent reason. Personally, I start ...more
Jan 01, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For many years I was a HUGE fan of Patricia Cornwell. And then by the time I read Blow Fly, I found myself increasingly disturbed and disgusted with her books and the self-wallowing of her characters. Gone was the brilliancy and left was the bizarre. I often wondered what was happening in Cornwell's own life and if she was putting her own issues into the emotional and pyschological pitfalls of her characters. I couldn't imagine that she would choose to make them become so unlikeable. Gone were t ...more
Robin Ripley
Nov 01, 2011 Robin Ripley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Remember when you could actually read and enjoy the Kay Scarpetta books from Patricia Cornwell?

Back when the series started, Kay was human, had a sense of humor, enjoyed cooking, did things normal people do. As the series has gone on, it has gotten darker, weirder (not a word, I know), more ominous, just...horrid.

The characters have degenerated into caricatures of their worst selves. The world has become sinister and evil. Honestly, there isn't anything enjoyable about reading these books. Who
Sep 30, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Scarpetta books, once so wonderful, have been steadily declining in quality and excitement. I could hardly stay awake.
Mar 13, 2014 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is huge for me. I have been reading my way through the Scarpettas, and I have finally bumped into one that was a genuinely decent mystery with a plot that made sense!

That being said, does anyone else get the feeling that Cornwell is working through her own issues with her characters? I mention this only because my chief complaint with her depictions of Kay, Lucy, Benton and above all, oh my God above all Marino is that she treats the reader as though their actions and reactions make sense
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 02, 2012 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the second Scarpetta book I've read, and while there were some interesting aspects to it - especially a multi-city, multi-character weaving of the narrative together - I found the characters to be colder than I was expecting, and more remote. Part of this certainly stems from reading the books out of order, and thus missing what I presume is a natural character development path - but in general, characters should be somewhat likable, or compelling, if I'm going to continue picking up a s ...more
SO what is happening with this series? I'm listening to this series as audio books- I could never read them- and sometimes if I miss who is speaking I can't tell the main characters from the bad guys. Why is everyone so angry and annoyed with each other? Kay can't stand Marino, who is suddenly described looking like Paul Teutul instead of a tall Danny Devito, including his new love of motorcycles. Marino may have transformed outwardly, but he is even more upset and depressed. Kay is suddenly bei ...more
Hali Sowle
I was totally unprepared for how terrible this book was. It seems that Patricia Cornwell took everything she had written in the past book and books and thrown it away. The venue for this book is Charleston, Kay moves around more than a military family! Where, as usual it seems she's unwanted. The first thing that gets me is Lucy, sitting a bar getting drunk and picking up, or getting picked up, by a beautiful woman. Whoa... this is the same Lucy who gave up drinking in the last novel because she ...more
Lisa A. Carlson
Nov 03, 2013 Lisa A. Carlson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa A. by: reading the entire series
Shelves: fiction
Even the revised introductions by the author and her acknowledgements to specific physicians/scientists ;including her lover/partner can't seem to help this series; number 14 is as disjointed and disappointing as ever. A fine psychological thriller about serial killers it is not. How established places like the New York Times are giving this any attention is beyond comprehension. The main characters have gone off the deep end and realistically did not follow the pattern established in the earlie ...more
Jun 15, 2012 J rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have to say I did not read this novel as closely as I do most Cornwell titles. Sort of chicken or the egg ... I can't tell whether I was indifferent to it because I didn't pay enough attention, or I failed to pay as much attention as usual because the book
Jan 09, 2016 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-crime
I finally finished "Predator" by Patricia Cornwall today and gosh darn if that wasn't a hard book to finish.

It's about Kay Scarpetta (a former Virginia pathologist) and her merry band of sidekicks (an FBI officer, a brainiac computer nerd niece, and a former cop) and it just about irritated me as much as a book can.

Cornwall has a tendency to pitch Sarpetta against the world and make the chaos in her life an element of the story. In addition, there always seems to be someone trying to do her down
Amanda Davies
Not very interesting. These books are popular, so I thought I'd give them a try, but from the looks of the other reviews I chose the wrong book to start on. Hopefully the others in this series are better, but I must admit that I don't think I'm likely to give them a try. There just wasn't really anything in this that I liked.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the worst book I've ever read. The plot was decent, the twists were all right, and it was interesting enough that I finished it (though that do
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sherri F.
Not one of best in the Dr. Kay Scarpetta series. The first half was confusing & weird at times; a little on the overly complex side and did lend well to being a easy or fully enjoyable read. It's kind of hard to describe as well. The story was interesting at times and original in the telling of a frequently-used psychiatric diagnosis storyline, esp. for mysteries and thrillers. The second half and lead up to the ending was pretty good but then actual ending was abrupt leaving it a little ant ...more
Jan 18, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Scarpetta returns in another explosive novel with a new life, new job, but same old passions. While working on a secret, scientific study into the minds of serial murders, Scarpetta is pushed into the middle of an abduction case with potential dire consequences. While working with Marino, her colleague at the National Forensic Center, they begin to dig deeper into a case and a mysterious 'HOG' calling in tips. With Lucy's help, Scarpetta soon discovers the case is closer to home than she thinks ...more
Maria Cox
I really enjoy the Kay Scarpetta series. Back when I began reading Kay was a relatable character, enjoyed cooking, and doing things normal people do, but as the series progressed her character appears to have gotten darker and so have the supporting characters. Evil lurks at every turn for Kay.

I’m somewhat annoyed at the conflicting personalities of the supporting characters too: Lucy and Marino. Why is Marino even describing Lucy’s physical appearance, like “She’s really pretty. Got nice breas

All the usual characters are present but each of them are sad, angry and bitter with little interaction between them. A most unusual book. By the way, what happened at the end? Scarpetta is strangled one minute, then riding along happily in a car the next, no explanation. All in all an unhappy book about twisted people
Mar 05, 2013 Wilfred rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have read some other Patricia Cornwell books and did not remember them being this bad.
First the writing style was awkward for me. The omniscient point of view was not enjoyable.

Second she tried to hard to create mystery and suspense. "Look I found something?"
"What is it?"
"Let's have a talk about our relationship first and I will tell you what I found."
"BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Oh yeah that thing I found, I don't know what it means. Hopefully I will figure it out at the end of the book."

Lastly, th
Jun 29, 2008 Marva rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'll never pick up another Cornwell book. I read the whole damn thing waiting for something to happen or a likeable protagonist or ??? Well, anything to make this the best seller that it is.

Nada, nil, nyet, nothing. Stupid to the nth degree.

Now, I love mysteries, which is why I picked up this book. Huge disappointment. Scarpetta (the preseumed MC) doesn't factor in much. She's not very likable anyway, so I didn't care. Who else? That insecure motorcyle guy (I already forget his Italian name)? Wh
May 17, 2009 Becca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Becca by: Sam
Shelves: mystery
Credit where credit is due: I hate books written in the present tense AND I went into this book expecting a forensic mystery.

That being said, the pacing was terrible, the book was so overstuffed that at one point, in the middle of discussing a crime scene we get step by step details of the main character cooking a risotto and the most minute of characters (characters who were mentioned on less than two pages) were given names and personalities. The ending was the most trite thing imaginable and
Another book on tape that makes me feel like I'm cheating by not actuallt reading. But honestly I'm not sure if I could actually read a Cornwell book.
Cornwell has a great talent for creating seemingly independant story lines that eventually knit together in a natural and uncontrived way.
This story floats back and forth between Boston and Florida. I learned more about Morino this time and also about Lucy. We're still not given a lot of detail about Scarpetta and wesley's relationship but then ma
Aug 09, 2016 Tammy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typical Kay Scarpetta book. There are murders. She does the forensic work. Benton profiles the killers. Lucy does some outrageous stuff. Just what I was looking for!
Jul 21, 2011 Sham rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The reason why people fell in love with the Scarpetta series was the science and the solving of shocking homicides through the use of analysis and technology. Same premise as CSI. The characters are terrible, CONSTANTLY being unfairly treated by every external figure (press, colleagues, government, etc.) that the interactions are frustrating and annoying. 300 pages and unbelievably fantastical situations for a series that is supposed to be grounded in fact. I was genuine annoyed when the wrap up ...more
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Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, Postmortem, in 1990 while working as a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. Postmortem, was the first bona fide forensic thriller. It paved the way for an explosion of entertainment featuring in all things forensic across film, television and literature.

Postmortem would go on to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony,
More about Patricia Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

Kay Scarpetta (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, #1)
  • Body of Evidence (Kay Scarpetta, #2)
  • All That Remains (Kay Scarpetta, #3)
  • Cruel & Unusual (Kay Scarpetta, #4)
  • The Body Farm (Kay Scarpetta, #5)
  • From Potter's Field (Kay Scarpetta, #6)
  • Cause of Death (Kay Scarpetta, #7)
  • Unnatural Exposure (Kay Scarpetta, #8)
  • Point of Origin (Kay Scarpetta, #9)
  • Black Notice (Kay Scarpetta, #10)

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